Last night, the Phoenix Suns improved their record to 25-18 after beating the Los Angeles Lakers at home, 115-100.
The Suns have now won their last three games, and last six home games in a row. This is big for Phoenix because they are now entering into a very difficult stretch of games. The good news is, the next five will all be at home, so hopefully, they can continue their winning ways.
As for the Lakers, they were without Kobe Bryant who was resting for his second straight game. In fact, he didn't even travel with the team. The Lakers were also down their starting point guard, Ronnie Price, who was out with a broken nose and a bruised elbow.
There was no reason for the Suns to lose this game, and fortunately, they didn't. However, they made it a bit closer than they probably needed to, allowing the Lakers to pace them in the first half, going into halftime all tied up. This was mainly due to bad fouls and getting out-rebounded, where they allowed too many second chance opportunities which the Lakers took advantage of.
In the second half, the Suns were able to come out with better execution on both ends of the court, and seemed to play more intensely on defense, bothering the Lakers and forcing them into turnovers.
The Suns quickly took control and began extending the lead through the third quarter and into the fourth, going up by as much as 19 points midway through the fourth quarter.
But then Nick Young happened.
Young went all Swaggy P on the Suns and hit four straight three pointers, one of which he was fouled on by Markieff Morris, to turn into a four-point play.
At the same time, the Suns began to fall apart offensively, taking bad shots and turning the ball over. Before you knew it, the Lakers were down only six points with around three minutes left in the game.
Hornacek wisely substituted Goran Dragic back in the game to put the clamps on Nick Young, as he had done all night. And from that point on, Nick Young didn't score another point from the field...but Dragic did.
Goran quickly scored two back-to-back baskets to put the Suns further ahead and back in control, and after a couple more baskets from Markieff Morris, the Suns were finally able to cruise to a 15 point victory in the end.
Here's what the players had to say about the win (And a big thanks to Evan Wendt for editing the videos late last night!):
Goran talked about how comfortable he is playing together with Bledsoe, and how they've developed a good chemistry together. He also spoke about how he is feeling much better after recovering from his illness that plagued him during the road trip, and how he feels much stronger now.
Bledsoe was in good spirits and reciprocated Goran's affinity for playing with him, talking about how they play so well together and make up a talented and potent back-court. The Slash Brothers seem very happy as a duo, and are learning more and more how to bring Isaiah into the fold to make it the deadly trio it was tonight.
Isaiah had his best game in a while, certainly since coming back from his ankle injury a couple of months ago. He talked about how the Suns have been playing well together at home recently, and how they would have to remain focused each game to continue their winning ways.
Next up for the Suns are the Portland Trail Blazers (31-11) who they will play at home on Wednesday. The Suns will have their work cut out for them against one of the Western Conference powerhouses who have been playing very well.
Phoenix will need to avoid some of the offensive and defensive lapses, along with the mental errors they had at times tonight in order to beat them. The good news is, The Suns have shown an ability to get up for the big games and raise their level of play. Let's hope they're ready to do just that.